It's winter – cold weather is appreciated to help keep flea populations reduced, but unfortunately may exacerbate arthritis in our older pets.
I often say old age is not a disease – it is more an accumulation of toxins and a deficiency of necessary building blocks for tissue repair over time. As joints are used for work or play in every day life or experience accidental trauma, they wear down.
In a healthy body, building blocks through natural diets (meat, organ meat and especially bones) are provided for joint repair. Joints last a lifetime quite remarkably with little pain. I wish this were more common than not.
Processed food - pet food in a bag, can or pouch - contains ingredients that are man-made. These ingredients allow for convenience to preserve the food, provide vitamins or minerals to “balance” the diet or are flavor enhancers so our friends want to eat it. These vitamins and minerals are often not from a whole food source – but fractions synthesized in a lab (sometimes from raw ingredients like petroleum) of an entire complex of vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in whole food. Whole food (fresh grass fed meat for example or wild blueberries) also contain phytonutrients, enzymes and cofactors that aid in using the vitamin-mineral complexes for tissue repair in ways we have only marginally been discovering. We have all kinds of new “super foods” - antioxidants like CoQ10, amino acids like lysine, and fatty acids like essential omega 3's that are being discovered and recommended to add to our diets. Yes, they help. When balanced from a whole food source – we obtain these nutrients plus a whole lot more – and without unwanted compounds that cause inflammation.
Preservatives, flavor enhancers and synthetic nutrients are metabolized by the body using pathways not always conducive to tissue repair, the body often works hard just to eliminate them. They actually get in the way of what the body is meant to do. But bodies are amazing machines and the effects of diet are often very subtle, accumulate over time and are blamed on other things - “diseases” that enter from the outside (bacteria, viruses, even toxins).
Our quote at the bottom of our letterhead is the foundation of what I believe “If a diet is unnatural, disease will keep company with those subjected to it” by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
I have found that by feeding raw or more natural (at least grain free) foods – and adding whole food supplements if necessary, we can often eliminate up to 70% of joint pain known as arthritis. Treats are also often a source of inflammation – as they are often mostly fillers with flavoring added.
Other ways to reduce pain from inflammation and improve mobility include feeding turmeric (see our Joint Pain Relief recipe below), Boswellia – also known as Frankincense, and yes, glucosamine sulfate with MSM &/or chondroitin sulfate. Warm compresses followed by cold packing and massage also help affected joints. Body work – chiropractic, cranial-sacral, osteopathic and manual energy therapy – also helps remarkably to allow for energetic flow in areas that have experienced trauma, both physical and emotional.
We look forward to continuing to provide your fuzzy friends with great care this coming new year.